Sunday, December 31, 2006

Odessey of Friendship and Trust Continued

I guess I am having a brain dump before the new year LOL. At the end of last year, I did track these college friends down. Well, the boys could be found, but the girls are a lot more challenging. You see, most of us probably don't remember the last names of our friends. If we do, and they were girls, um, those last names have probably changed. I did manage to issue apologies for any past actions twenty years later. What was interesting was the gay guy friends were like "oh, we were all immature then I didn't think anything of it". I think the straight guy friends thought I was interested in them a whole nother way LOL. Guys are so dumb. My husband is the same way, if a cute girl is nice to him, he thinks she is flirting. I should probably just let him think that instead of breaking out in laughter. Any way, we were in my college years, and while I wasn't breaking any hearts (except maybe for Dave) I was not being any kind of good friend to my guy friends, especially by making them into boyfriends and discarding them.

So there was the introduction of coke. This substance can make you feel invisible and very sure of yourself when you are doing very stupid things. Dave was such a good friend, that even when he knew I was not being committed to him, he would always be there if I needed a ride or something home. He might be completely pissed and not talking to me, but he did not want me to be a danger to myself. I don't know how he stood behind me all through college. He was really my best friend besides Toby. He had an incredibly kind heart. About three weeks after the "Matt incident" Matt's apartment was broken into and his stero and records were all stolen. They had left glass all over the place. Dave came over and said "hey we gotta go help him out clean his place". Now Matt was way pissed at me, and so I was real hesitant to go. David basically told me to suck it up and take the lumps with him. We did, and that's how me and Matt's relationship as friends took root again. It was the beginning of me not being such a selfish immature ass in college, but I still did many stupid things during this time as partying always came first.

Matt lived in the same complex as me and Linda. Robin and Lorrette (I think I called her Lorraine before) also had moved into the place. It was huge, not a straight up and down place with all sorts of court yards or anything. Oh, it was a slum so don't get the wrong impression there, but a way cool slum. So with the windows open we could all correspond with each other when home. This was comforting to have male pressences so near, especially when I got a stalker later on. He would leave us notes calling me the "bad one" and Linda the "good one". They were very creepy (phone messages too). Also Linda got these horrible migraines that sometimes caused her to bang her head against the floor to knock herself out, and I sometimes needed Matt to help me get her to a soft place or do this thing Linda showed us how to do with her neck. We were all very close and having a good time.

I remember later on Matt was like "the only time I hear from you is when you want something". That stung, but I realized he was right. One thing was though, I didn't know how to relate to people, so I always had to find an excuse to stop by. I am not saying a wasn't a selfish little shit then, but there was that other reason. I agreed with Matt, and later on really tried to be there with him as a friend, and to drop by just to say hi, and not try to force conversation or topics. That worked much better, and Matt remained someone very much in my life through college. I disappointed him a lot too. I see that I started to write about this on the previous posting, but got side tracked by explaining the substance thing. Here is why though.

Matt was a manager at the all night gas station near us. He was soon dating Joan who was also a manager of that gas station. Matt got me a job there, and I worked the night shift at first. I found coke and cigarrettes to be really good tools during this time to stay up and make the night go a bit faster. It was probably very lucky for me that I was a thoughtless jerk at that time, it probably saved me from being raped and killed that night. See the night before this "customer" (who looked like Charles Manson) wanted me to let him into my booth. He threatened to smash it when I told him to get lost with his car. It was pretty frightening. I probably called Matt at like 1am and he came over. The next night at about 10 or 11 pm some frat boys I new had stopped to get some gas. They were having a party that night and begging me to go. So, course, I thoughtlessly went, locked the door, but did not set the alarm as I didn't want to tip anyone off that I left. When I returned at 4 am the next morning, I discovered the booth had been completely smashed, and everything was gone including the register!!! Uh, oh. So I called Matt and told him what happened. He was more concerned about me, and came up with a "story" for me regarding vomiting, going home, and coming back. Here I had put his head on the line, and he is concerned about me keeping my job. He was also the first one that said it was probably that guy staking out the place. The policeman thought so too, and said it was good thing I wasn't there. Regardless, I still feel shitty for letting Matt down.

My friends were way better to me than I was to them. My college friends were the closest friends that I have ever had even to this day. It was still many years before I realized how bad I had dropped the friendship ball in college. Like I said, I provided many other opportunities for disappointment. College is not where I learned distrust of people as friends. I realized later on that those friends are not so easily found in the real world.

The corporate world is really what drove this home. After coming home, meeting Robert, getting a job that I loved at Paul Revere, I put myself through business school. I left Paul Revere, even though I loved it, because they wouldn't transfer me from customer service to accounting which is what I was going to school for. When I got a job in public accounting, I started working full time during the day, and going to school full time at night. You study a lot about ethics in college, and I agree with being ethical. However, what they manage not to tell you, is that if you are in a position of any kind of executive management, you are going to become privvy to an awful truth and need to make a choice. Most corporations are in the business of being unethical, dishonest, and lying to improve the bottom line and improve (especially executive) commissions and bonuses. If you are working there doing your "job", and you for instance find out someone is embezzling. That someone is a Vice President and his close friend the President finds this info embarrassing. What then happens is that your life is made hell, and the embezzeller does leave the company. Yeah, he leaves with a letter of recomendation and two years severance pay. So you gotta decide, do you look out for the best interests or your own interests. I could never manage to look out for my own interests, which made me popular with my employees and others who were honest workers. I never came close to fired as I was incredibly good at what I did, and no one else knew how or wanted to know how I did what I did. I was loyal to my corporation, and put in incredibly long hours to make the impossible happen. I got very jaded from the multitude of experiences I discovered however. I did not need to have the experiences that my husband had to know that just about no one was really your friend at work. I should point out that I have a few people that I still keep in touch with.

The end. That's my husband and I when we were youngsters, and most likely while we were "dating". The things I did wrong before, really taught me to be more careful with people I cared about. That was the most important lesson, and our marriage has been enjoying it for 20 years now.


crse said...

it is hard to make friends once you are out of college. My "newest friend" ive had for eight years. And before that its all late 80s early 90s. I hope you do find the girls. I think they will be thinking of their own selfish immaturity too. And im going to guess that you are harder on yourself than your friends' memories of of you...

winterskibunny said...

Yes, thank you, I am harder on myself then my old friends are. I actually called Dave to wish him a happy New Year. It's kind of part of my News Year resolution to put myself out there more as for marketing, sales, and friends (including keeping up ties with old friends).

We have e-mailed previously, but this is the first time we have talked in over 20 years. We had a great conversation sumamrizing where we were, and who we had seen and/or heard from. When I talked about what a bonehead I had been, he said "you know Robin, we were all pretty out of control back then".

Any way, we are going to try and set up a mini reunion after February or so. Gives me time to loose a bit of weight LOL. Vanity, you know.

It was great to talk to him, and I recognized his voice as soon as he picked up the phone.